Pathways to Possibilities and Student Success                12/4/18
   A Message from the Superintendent
Dear Parents and Community Members,

I'm thrilled to share with you that Measure AA has passed. A resounding 78% of our voters supported the renewal measure. We are extremely appreciative of your support and confidence in our public schools in Tahoe Truckee. Everyone at TTUSD works hard to ensure our scholars have a well-rounded, high-quality education that addresses the whole child. We are so lucky to have such a dedicated staff and an incredible community that supports what we do for our youth. Thank you!

On behalf of our students, families, staff, and board, I'd also like to extend a huge thank you to our volunteer Measure AA co-chairs, Christa Barker-Myers and Stephanie Bragg, who led the volunteer campaign efforts. 

Last week we launched the second annual CLO Student Art Contest, and I can't wait to see what our talented artists turn in this year. Please see the article below for all the details. We also held our annual Junior Career Fair last week. It was a huge success thanks to our industry and postsecondary partners! Many of these partners are offering job shadows and internships work-based learning (job shadows and internships) for our students. What an excellent opportunity for scholars to gain work experience in a field of their choice. A special thank you to the Rotary Club of Truckee and the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District for sponsoring this event.

We have a big board meeting coming up next week on December 12, at 5:30 p.m. Here are a few highlights:
  • Three of our board members will be sworn in for a new term.
  • We will recognize the Measure AA co-chairs for their contribution to our educational community.
  • The board will take action on a transportation logistics study and whether or not to start a new process to explore the possibility of later start times for secondary schools.  
  • North Tahoe High School will present a school update.
  • The 2017-2018 Measure A Annual Financial Report will be presented.
At our last board meeting, the board passed a resolution recognizing and honoring our Special Education staff members. The resolution recognizes December 3, 2018, as our first observance of  "National Special Education Day" and designated this week, December 3 - 7, as Special Education Appreciation Week.

On Friday evening, December 7, TTUSD is partnering with Sierra College for a unique, TED talk-type of event showcasing the wide variety of career opportunities there are in our community. It's called "Career Kaleidoscope," and e ight Sierra College Students will be presenting in a Pecha Kucha format. The event is free and open to the community, and I invite you to join us!

Robert J. Leri, Ed.D.
Superintendent Chief Learning Officer
Exploring Alternative Start Times                  
At TTUSD, students are the focus of all our decisions. We always want to do what's best for our youth.

The district is aware of the research that shows the importance of adolescence getting more sleep and the role that school start times may play in this. At the December 12 Board of Education meeting, the board will review a new transportation logistics study related to later start times for middle and high schools. Based on the findings from this study, the board will take action at this meeting whether or not to start a new process to explore the possibility of later start times for secondary schools.  

Back in 2016, we implemented a collaborative evaluation approach exploring laters start times and solicited a wide range of input on the topic, from parents, staff, students, teachers, and administrators. We evaluated how a change would work, and identified potential downsides or ramifications.

We found we would have to add a significant number of additional bus routes, buses, and drivers to implement such a change. The costs were exorbitant, and it was not financially viable for us to make any changes at that time. We've remained committed to continuing to assess options and opportunities for addressing start times for adolescents, which led to this new study.

A local "Start School Later" chapter has been formed by parents that are advocating for later school start times. They have been in contact with the district and they are holding a community meeting on December 5.
  2018 Chief Learning Officer Student Art Contest
Dr. Leri wants to continue to show off the artistic talent of our students on the walls of our district office. He's hosting a second annual student art contest and invites TTUSD students of all ages to participate!

The deadline to submit artwork is Monday, January 14, 2019,  and the student artwork should be turned in at their school's office.

There are five categories for the judging of the artwork.
  1. TK, K, and 1st grade
  2. 2nd and 3rd
  3. Fourth and Fifth grade
  4. Sixth through Eighth grade
  5. High School

A CLO panel will determine the first, second, and third place winners in each category and our winners will be notified by January 25, 2019. All of the winning artwork will be framed and showcased on walls of the district office for one year, and each winner will be invited to a special recognition at the February 6, 2019 Board of Education meeting.

Why they love working with kids                
Teachers have one of the most important jobs in the world. Their work and impact extend far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. They educate and shape our youth. They teach them life skills. Their job takes passion, heart, and commitment. In each Education Connection, teachers across the district will share why they love teaching. We'll also hear from a classified employee. These are our front-line employees who make a huge difference in a positive school and district environment. From transporting and feeding students to teaching them vital skills and ensuring that schools are operating smoothly, classified employees are integral to the success of TTUSD.

Troy Melin, Cold Stream Alternative
Each day offers new challenges and new rewards. I love that I have the potential to leave a positive impact on the lives of my students. It is tremendously gratifying to work with high school students who are taking their first steps into the larger world and possibilities of their futures.     

Rebecca Gordon, Instructional Assistant, North Tahoe High School
I love my job and working with kids. Kids are wonderful - they are the best! And they are challenging and fun! In my role, I get to help kids, whether it's navigating the educational system, getting their Chromebooks fixed, or just someone to talk to - whatever they need. They are all working so hard and I'm a go-to person for them, which is very rewarding. I love being part of the NTHS staff. Every single person at NTHS is here to help out the kids and their heart is in the right place which makes it a very fun place to work!
   Join us for Career Kaleidoscope
TTUSD is partnering with Sierra College for a unique, TED talk-type of event showcasing the wide variety of career opportunities there are in our community. It's called "Career Kaleidoscope" and you're invited to attend on Friday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Career seekers and those who want to celebrate the diversity of how people make both a life and a living in Tahoe Truckee will enjoy this artistic event. The Career Kaleidoscope will be held at Granlibakken in Tahoe City and it's free and open to the public so bring your friends!

What is a PechaKucha?
PechaKucha is a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. The format keeps presentations concise, fast-paced, and engaging!
More about the Career Kaleidoscope PechaKucha :
Eight Sierra College student interns are working with industry mentors in prominent career clusters in the Tahoe Truckee region. They will combine original photography with storytelling to profile those opportunities in a PechaKucha format.
Come to explore, network, and reflect. Our students would love to have your support! For more information, call (530) 550-2225.
  Tahoe Truckee earns prestigious Golden Bell Award
TTUSD is one of the 51 recipients across the state to earn the Golden Bell Award for the Truckee North Tahoe Youth Health Initiative. Sponsored by the California School Boards Association (CSBA), the Golden Bell Awards recognize outstanding public school programs for innovation, sustainability, and best practices that facilitate positive student outcomes.

The Truckee North Tahoe Youth Health Initiative is an innovative community program. Through "Wellness Hubs," we worked with community partners to create an exemplary model of what a coordinated school health model should look like in a rural area. Agency leaders from Tahoe Forest Health System, Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee, Placer County Human and Health Services, Nevada County Human and Health Services and TTUSD collaborated and aligned our visions toward a common outcome that is entirely youth focused.

The innovative approach is based on the premise that a young person's success in school is inextricably linked to their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The Youth Health Initiative changed the way we interact with community partners to improve the health and well-being of our youth. The Wellness Hubs reduce barriers and increase adolescents' access to, and utilization of critical health services and supports in the Tahoe Truckee region.